September 19, 2013 | By Doreen Lopez
I recently visited the seaport city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, and found it to be scenic and vibrant. Flights into Vancouver are frequent and convenient, and it is also a major gateway if you are cruising to Alaska. Vancouver offers many accommodation options for those who want to have access to night life and art galleries, the water front, or nature. Vancouver is a walking city, easy to get around, and there is plenty to explore. I love that Vancouver has turned it’s natural beauty into gardens, parks and beaches that provide recreational and leisure activities, such as Stanley Park, English Beach and the North Shore.
There are also many quaint neighborhoods in Vancouver, such as historic Gas Town, cultural China Town, and trendy Yale Town, each with their own boutique-style shopping and outdoor cafes. Granville Island is a must, offering a great wharf atmosphere and charming public market place overflowing with produce, bakeries, and eateries. You will also enjoy the narrow streets of many unique local artists selling their beautiful jewelry designs and crafts. Robson Street is another great afternoon, with upscale shops and restaurants.
We spent a day on the North Shore at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where we walked the tree tops as we made our way across the swaying suspension bridge. (The day we visited it was a little overcast, so it seemed like we were in a rain forest… It was an amazing experience!) We also visited Grouse Mountain, enjoyed an afternoon of hiking, mountain zip lines, and visited the grizzly bear habitat. The 4100 feet above Vancouver made for breathtaking views.
Vancouver is great getaway for any traveler, offers many activities, entertainment, museums, and cultural events. You will also find many delicious restaurants for the foodie in you. I highly recommend Vancouver pre- or post your Alaska cruise, or if you just want to get away for 3 or 4 nights.